Discover beauties of the National Karakol park
The Ala Kul lake is a popular destination in Kyrgyzstan, touristy but the lake is amazing nice, from the Karakol valley to Altyn Arashan valley and its hot water springs.
In the morning, we will go by local-bus to the Karakol Leskhoz (Karakol National Park) ~15min (20km). The hike to Sirota campsite ~5-6 hours (22km). You will be walking alongside the river for ~3 hours (11km) and then cross a bridge with a cable and trek up the valley to the campsite. You will be able to see Tien-Shan pine trees and the Karakol river flowing with glacier water. Overnight in the tent
Leaving the campsite, you will summit Ala-Kul Lake (3600m) in ~2-3 hours (4km). Enjoy a short hike around the lake and it’s also possible to make a summit at one of the nearby peaks. During winter Ala-Kul freezes solid and it’s still a mystery how deep the lake is. Beware at night the temperatures fall below 0 C. Overnight in the tent
The path, difficult hike up a scree to the neck Ala-Kul to 3890 meters. From the pass, the view is absolutely magnificent lake and surrounding peaks. Descend to the colorful canyon Keldike camp in the valley of Altyn Arashan.
Descend through the piste. Our vehicle waits us near the first bridge at the entrance of the gorge. Transfer to Karakol, check into a guest house.
1 week of exploration around Kel-Suu at the top, despite the vagaries of the weather. We can only salute the seriousness and professionalism of the agency. Easy contact, team attentive. In addition to being able to discover a place that is difficult to access for independent hikers - and absolutely superb - we also took a real pleasure in getting into Kyrgyz culture more deeply. A big thank you to our great guide (Fabien) for having been able to motivate us whatever the circumstances, inventing new recipes based on kurut and allowing us to better understand the country. We hope to be able to leave with Nomad’s Land as soon as possible!
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On your way
Karakol gorge KG
The Karakol valley is fully part of the Karakol Natural Park. Located on the south part of Karakol city, from the Altyn Arashan valley till Chelpek valley. The natural park was organized in 1997 to preserve the unique natural ecosystem of the Karakol valley. The main objectives are the protection of plants and animals in the park, typical of the North-East of Kyrgyzstan, as well as the organization of leisure of the population and foreign tourists. The flora is represented by 700 species, 80 of them - trees and shrubs. The fauna are roe deer, goat, fox, marten, ermine, rock partridge, etc. There are included in the Red Book of Kyrgyzstan:. Snow leopard, Kumai, saker falcon, bearded vulture, golden eagle. The valley is surrounded by the highest peaks of the Teskey Alatoo, like the peak Karakol (5281 m.), peak Djigit (5130 m.), peak Prjevalski (4283 m.), peak Jukova (4450 m.), peak Telmana (4460 m) and Dimitrova Peak (4450 m). Peaks Djigit and Karakol offer very difficult routes, and a good acclimatization before climbing Khan Tengri or Pobeda peaks.
At the eastern tip of Lake Issyk-Kul, Karakol is a fertile garden town of wooden chocolate-box cottages and shady, poplar-lined avenues. Fringed to the east by the Terskey Ala-Too Mountains, which tower dramatically over its low-rise skyline, Issyk-Kul ripples 10 km to the west.
Karakol is the best base from which to explore the lakeshore and Central Asia's prime trekking and mountaineering routes. With the most spectacular parts of the Central Tien-Shan right on its doorstep and newly open to foreign visitors, the town attracts trekkers, hikers and climbers from all over the world.
Karakol and its surroundings have just as much to offer their less energetic visitors. Besides one of Kyrgyzstan's largest and most colorful bazaars, a nomadic livestock market and several good museums, its spectacular environs boast an endless array of truly unique day trips. Blood-red cliffs, hot springs, Scythian burial mounds, nomad camps and sandy beaches thousands of miles from the sea are all within easy reach.
The town was build since 1869, one year after Teplokluchenka (actually name Ak-Suu). There is a unique building in the center of Karakol - ancient wooden orthodox church. But you may visit also the zoo, the regional museum, the wooden mosque, the Panfilov park, the Park Victory, the museum and memorial Prejwalski.
Despite Karakol's status as the administrative center of the Issyk-Kul region, it has only 75,000 residents and a gentle, small-town atmosphere.
Altyn Arashan hot water springs KG
One of the most beautiful places in Kyrgyzstan is the Altyn Arashan Gorge (Kyrgyz "source of gold".) Its scenic beauty, a gem of the mountain - Ala Kul and its hot springs, known for their beneficial properties, have Long captured the hearts of people who come here.The mountainous valley of the Arashan River is located 10 kilometers east of the city of Karakol.
The hot springs are located at an attitude of 2600 meters above sea level. They are known for their healing properties: radon and hydrogen sulfide. In the first source, a high concentration of radon in water has beneficial effects on the human body: accelerating the process of healing and resorption, in the nerve fibers of muscle and bone tissue, improves heart function. And hydrogen sulfide baths cure a variety of skin diseases, cardiovascular disorders, for the restoration and normalization of the nervous system, musculoskeletal system.
Ala-Kul lake KG
Ala Kul lake (or Ala Koel in Kyrgyz) is located in the upper part of the river Kurgaktor at an altitude of 3523 meters. The lake is 70 meters deep. Its origin is glacial and some glaciers are still visible, especially in the north of the lake. There is no island and the name in Kyrgyz means "colorfull". The lake can be reach by foot only in one day, from Altyn Arashan refuge or from Karakol valley.